In June of 2010, the leaders of the world’s wealthiest countries met to discuss the future of their nation. On that day, thousands of protesters marched down the street of Toronto to protest the policies of G20. Within a few hours, the authorities showed up and started blocking the protesters, even though they were behaving peacefully.
The people were cornered and told that they would all be arrested unless they left, however there was no exit.
The G20 ‘s Integrated Security Unit had taken an old film studio located on the East End and turned it into an improvised prison. This is where the protesters were detained. Outside the premises, another group of protesters gathered to demand the release of the people who were being held there. A few hours later, police closed in on them and arrested those who allegedly didn’t leave quickly enough.
Inside the building, the protesters were locked up in small cages that weren’t even fit for animals. Some were strip-searched and all were denied the right to make a phone call to tell family of their whereabouts.
The charges were for breeching the peace. Authorities justified this by stating that it’s what needed to be done in order to guarantee that the summit would not be interrupted. Over 1,200 protesters were removed from the streets and less than 330 of them were charged with a crime. 90% of those charges were later dropped or dismissed.
Many protesters came forward to share their stories about how they arrested, detained, threatened, or assaulted by police officers during the G20 Summit. However the intimidation tactics were in place long before the Summit.
Sadly, this is not a unique incident. All around the world people are being maligned for protesting peacefully for their rights. This film is a compilation of videos that show how anybody who dares to disagree is treated like a criminal.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, there were many protests taking place particularly in the United States because citizens were demanding change. During that time, police used to handle this situation in a more violent way; they used clubs, water, and tear gas to suppress the demonstrations.
A few years later, the Broken Window Theory became popular and influenced police policy greatly. This theory basically states that any disorder left unchecked will balloon into total chaos. This concept was applied to manifestations.
However, when police find themselves unprepared for the crowds, they seem to regress to violence. It’s ironic how most of the violence that takes place at manifestations occurs at the hands of the police.
Take for instance the introduction of the Taser. These are very dangerous weapons and they are being used indiscriminately for non-compliance when all logic dictates that they should be reserved for more threatening situations.
Is there ever going to be a time when a group of citizens is allowed to voice its opinions in public without being criminalized? Watch this film now.